Cheap Airfare multiple DestinationsFavourable fares for several destinations
Multidestination air travel, mainly used by corporate travellers, allows one traveller to make several extensive stopovers on a journey. For example, a businessman could travel out of New York and into Dallas and stay in that agency for two nights, then go to San Francisco for two nights, then to Chicago for two nights before coming back to New York, all in one itinerary.
Peter Vlitas, SVP of Aviation Communications for one of the biggest US agencies and owners of Protravel International, said that the first complains to agencies about the increase were accounted for by the accounts manager - the person booking the flight for corporate travellers.
"It took about three or four working nights from the moment the changes were made in early April until we began to complain, and that's because the support staff received a report from the last few nights seeing how much more the airline was charging for flights," Vlitas said.
Only a few month ago, travellers could go to any number of airline reservation sites or web sites and buy a New York-Dallas-San Francisco-Chicago-New York tickets for $800-900. Low-cost airline companies offered low-cost air travel for only $49, so the bigger companies had to make these trips less expensive.
When several cheap itineraries were put together for a businessman who had to go to three parts of the land, the fares were relatively cheap. "Major airlines found that travellers - especially those who travel a great deal for work - could get lower fares," Vlitas said, and this reduced their profits.
Consumers lawyer, editor and co-founder of the interest group Travellers United, Christopher Elliott recently told the Washington Post that travellers should consider multi-city ticketing a puzzle: "You can mix a number of towns into a full rate. On a Newark-Los Angeles-San Francisco flight, the only way to get a price of $592 would be to reserve them as spare seats - but the airline sites do not let you know that you can do so, he noted.
Kyiv Mitchell, founding member of the travel industry association representing travellers, said the rise was not just a win. Recently, the government has written to US Assistant Attorney General William J. Baer of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division to examine agreements between airline companies. As a reaction to the rise, Vlitas told Protravel - a New York-based full-service agent - switched off automatic fare setting on its website and instructed its agent to rate multiple destinations for them.
"When you go on-line and make a reservation via robot websites, you get what the computer says to you," said Vlitas. "When you take a four-legged journey, a tour operator will check four one-way or two round trip flights. "He said that agencies can find the best mix for the consumer, while computer-based websites just give back the highest prices on the basis of the new priceforming algorithm.
Also now the ordinary traveller looking for a round-trip will not be affected and can go on-line for a good bargain, Vlitas said. However, he is urging anyone who wants to call more than two stop places - whether at work or at home - to take the necessary steps to call a tourist agency. "He said, "This is a clear example of how a tourist agency can cut costs.